Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


PSA looking into staffing issues at NZ courts

Tuesday 08 November 2016 03:03 PM

Law Society, PSA looking into staffing issues at NZ courts

By Sophie Boot

Nov. 8 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Law Society and the Public Service Association are investigating reports that courts are understaffed, with at least one judge blaming the issue for slow decisions.

In the High Court in Wellington last Tuesday, Justice David Collins warned his judgment in a civil dispute between Meridian Energy and Wellington City Council may be delayed, saying the court was "rather short-staffed in terms of judges in Wellington at the moment, and as a consequence there’s a fair bit that’s been backed up in the process." The Ministry of Justice says the High Court has a full complement of 39 judges, though one of the 25 based in Auckland will be sent to Wellington next year to increase the capital city's bench to 10.

A Law Society spokesperson said the professional body was investigating the issue after “a number of reports” about short staffing in court, while PSA organiser Tracy Klenner said the union believes there are staffing and resourcing issues in many areas at the Ministry of Justice, including courts.

“We are currently discussing these issues with the Ministry,” Klenner said. “Where this is a detrimental effect on the health and safety of our members, we take this extremely seriously. Proper resourcing of the justice sector is important not only to the timely and efficient administration of the court system, but also to ensure New Zealand remains a safe and just society.”

The High Court judiciary is expected to deliver 90 percent of judgments within three months. In calendar 2015, 92.3 percent of civil judgments were delivered within three months, and 77.9 percent were delivered within one month, while 99.5 percent of criminal judgments were delivered in less than three months and 96.5 percent within one month.

The government allocated $72 million for higher court services - which covers the work done by the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court - in the 2016 Budget, less than both the budgeted spend of $73.7 million and the estimated actual spend of $72.6 million in 2015.

In a 2016 Budget document, Treasury said the Ministry of Justice had plans to realise $85.6 million in savings over the next four years following a KPMG expenditure review, mostly in departmental spending.

"However, non-departmental appropriations, particularly legal aid, are experiencing demand-driven cost pressures," the document says. "Our conversations with the Ministry indicate that these are beyond what the Ministry can solve through efficiency savings."



© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


NZTA: Major New Zealand Upgrade Programme Projects Go To Tender

Two major New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects are beginning tenders for construction. The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is a $6.8 billion investment to get our cities moving, to save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The first Auckland ... More>>

Reserve Bank: RBNZ Seeks To Preserve Benefits Of Cash

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is taking on a new role of steward of the cash system “to preserve the benefits of cash for all who need them”, Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby told the Royal Numismatics Society of New Zealand annual conference ... More>>


Economy: Double-Dip Recession Next Year, But Housing Rolls On

New Zealand's economy is expected to slip back into recession early next year as delayed job losses, falling consumer spending, and the absence of international tourists bites into growth. More>>


Microsoft New Zealand: Microsoft Expands “Highway To A Hundred Unicorns” Initiative To Support Startups In Asia Pacific

New Zealand, 14 October 2020 – Today Microsoft for Startups launches the Highway to a Hundred Unicorns initiative in Asia Pacific to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. This follows the initiative’s success in India, where 56 startups were ... More>>

Fonterra: Farmers Taking Another Step Towards New Zealand’s Low Emissions Food Production

They’re hot off the press and intended to help take the heat out of climate change. Fonterra farmers are already among the world’s most sustainable producers of milk and now have an additional tool in their sustainability toolbox. Over the last few ... More>>


Electricity: New Zealand Remains In Top 10 For Energy Balance

The World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index has become part of the energy dialogue both globally and in New Zealand. The Index illustrates the need for countries to balance energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability. New Zealand ... More>>


Courts: Businessman Eric Watson Sentenced To A Four-Month Jail Term

New Zealand businessman Eric Watson has been sentenced to a four-month jail term in the UK for contempt of court, TVNZ reports. More>>

OECD: Area Employment Rate Falls By 4.0 Percentage Points, To 64.6% In Second Quarter Of 2020

The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – fell by 4.0 percentage points, to 64.6%, in the second quarter of 2020, its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2010. Across the OECD area, 560 million persons ... More>>

Spark: Turns On 5G In Auckland And Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Smart Cities

Spark turned on 5G in downtown Auckland today and has partnered with Auckland Transport (AT) to showcase some of the latest in IoT (Internet of Things) technology and demonstrate what the future could look like for Auckland’s CBD with the power of 5G. 5G is ... More>>

Stats NZ: Monthly Migration Remains Low

Since the border closed in late-March 2020, net migration has averaged about 300 a month, Stats NZ said today. In the five months from April to August 2020, overall net migration was provisionally estimated at 1,700. This was made up of a net gain ... More>>

University of Canterbury: Proglacial Lakes Are Accelerating Glacier Ice Loss

Lake Tasman, New Zealand | 2016 | Photo: Dr Jenna Sutherland Meltwater lakes that form at glacier margins cause ice to recede much further and faster compared to glaciers that terminate on land, according to a new study. But the effects of these glacial ... More>>


Dairy: Fonterra Sells China Farms

Fonterra has agreed to sell its China farms for a total of $555 million (RMB 2.5 billion*1), after successfully developing the farms alongside local partners. Inner Mongolia Natural Dairy Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China Youran Dairy Group Limited ... More>>